Hoping Against Hope

Hoping Against Hope❮PDF / Epub❯ ✅ Hoping Against Hope ❤ Author John D. Caputo – Oaklandjobs.co.uk John D Caputo has a long career as one of the preeminent postmodern philosophers in America Caputo now reflects on his spiritual journey from a Catholic altar boy in 1950s Philadelphia to a philosophe John D Caputo has a long career as one of the preeminent postmodern philosophers in America Caputo now reflects on his spiritual journey from a Catholic altar boy in s Philadelphia to a Hoping Against ePUB ✓ philosopher after the death of God Part spiritual autobiography part homily on what he calls the nihilism of grace Hoping Against Hope calls believers and nonbelievers alike to participate in the praxis of the kingdom of God which Caputo says we must pursue without why. Last year I read Silence a classic Japanese novel of historical fiction by Shūsakū Endo Earlier this year I read David Peters' short confession reflection and encouragement on surviving war and a shattered faith in Post Traumatic God Now this book Hoping Against Hope by John Caputo is the third book since losing my belief and theism nearly a year and a half ago in which I experience God This is not to say that I now believe But I do in reading this book feel a special relief and freedom from some remnants of the need to believe that still remain In this freedom I experience God Before reading this book and since my loss of belief I have freuently repeated the phrase that God is Dead I may repeat it again one day But not now In the moments after reading this book I prefer to simply say that God is I do not say God exists nor that God lives Yet somehow in this book and in this moment God is I do not have belief I could not say that I have faith It is too misunderstood a word I would suggest that to say I have trust is close But this isn't uite right I hope And in this hope I experience God I experience God though I do not believe and though God does not exist This is the best book I have read this year I am taking deep breaths of desperately longed for freedom from something nearly unexplainable in its abstract weight and pressure I do not expect all those without belief to understand But to have belief from childhood into middle age and then to lose it is something profound I have been in grief since its loss This book was one step in my letting go of God And in this letting go of God I experience God I live in that moment on the cross where Jesus cries out that God has forsaken him Yet I am free of the anguish implied in that moment In that moment that Abraham lifts the knife above Isaac's head he is ready to abandon the promised future for which he had given everything rendering it all without a reason But what if reason what if reward and conseuence were removed from his obedience? All that would be left is the gift of his now Imagine there's no heaven There is no eternal conseuence no eternal reward And without both we are freed from debt and obligation Every gift of grace may now be experienced celebrated and enjoyed in the present without why Thus is grace become truly unconditional And in this unconditional grace I experience God And I am called to live for this unconditional grace In this beautiful now in which every one of those gifts may break through something that ought to be without any purpose an accident that ends in an icy entropic death I experience God Freed from the existence of God every molecule in every moment is a beauty and a wonder Every opportunity to relieve or lessen suffering is a gift Every step taken toward justice in a universe headed to nothingness is an act of audacious hope In this I experience God I may be asked as Caputo is asked in this book why I would call this God at all With Caputo I must insist Born into a world in which God is assumed I have no better word to describe this experience in being Others may not I may not one day But it works for me born as I was to whom I was And in this word this name so much is redeemed to me In my early twenties I wrote a short poem that came to me many times as I read this book It follows here The flower the butterflyand the violin do not knowthat perhaps in their lifetimethey will be lovedfor nothing they have donebut only for the gift that they areWhen I wrote that poem I admit that I imagined a lover bestowing love upon them In this love was their value The flower was uniuely significant I was moved by the thought of some flower on a mountain one that blooms and dies never having been appreciated by a conscious living being Somehow I imagined that the presence of a supernatural force would make even this insignificant flower meaningfulIt's a nice thought But how much deeper an unconditional grace is it for that flower to bloom without the why of an outside lover The finite life of this flower blooming on its own without any being to appreciate its beauty needs no excuse Even without pollination and reproduction the beauty of the flower is enough contained in its own time Without why And thus is this beautiful flower of a universe in which we now are And in the profound realization of the beauty of this immediate passing and mortal moment I experience God I experience God as mortal as finite as nonexistent Yet I do And I do not believe And I am without debt And I am without reward And I hope Thank you for this book I recommend this book to any former believer still grieving their loss of belief I recommend it to any seeking atheist who wishes to remain both Finally I want to also say that I read The Weakness of God by John Caputo last year and found it a very difficult and tedious read This book has opened up my understanding of that far denser work Though I cannot recommend Weakness to anyone but serious students of philosophy I just want to assure potential readers that this book is different Caputo takes on a far conversational and accessible style in Hoping Against Hope It is a well cited book with an impressive bibliography and rigorously argued But it is also very readable Dig in Caputo has wounded me I'm a wounded human being wounded by love for the world hope for the world inspired by the gift of the world Caputo's religion is life materiality hope and love Caputo's religion is a religion of the rose of the flower which blossoms without why for no reason just to blossom without a concern that it's seen Caputo's religion is a nihilism of grace the gift of grace without foundations or grounds without exchange without payback but simply for the hell of it as an end in itself never a means to another end Life is an end unto itself Love is an end unto itself Unconditional giving is giving without the need for receiving without the need to hear how generous we are Caputo is also wounded a wounded soul set on fire by the world Never have I read an author who inspires such passion and vitality in meLive move have your being Enjoy your life share it live dangerously affirm your abilities touch those around you eat good food ride the bus give gifts unconditionally be hospitable to the orphan widow and stranger Listen to the suffering of others and the suffering of yourself Have hope faith and love Receive life Take it Enjoy it Don't even bother saying thank you for the ability to be alive Let your enjoyment of life be your thank you Let your life your laughter and tears and regrets be your thank you Embrace it all See the smile on the face of matter and smile back Smile even through your tears This is the life of faith hope and love This review is a difficult one Caputo has touched me deeply has stirred something deep inside me has wounded me with the beauty of his words with the elegance of his poetics Yet it seems almost impossible for me to reformulate his ideas to explain his postmodern repetition of religion which he calls by names such as Religionless Religion Mysticism of the Rose or Nihilism of Grace I realized this when I thought about how I could talk about what I read in this book with other people In the last chapter of the book it becomes clear where this difficulty stems from The play of the gift cannot be contracted into a logic even a theo logic It reuires instead the lighter touch of a poetics or of a theopoetics a soft song to the most elemental conditions of our livesThe poetic way in which Caputo speaks about these ideas is integral part of these ideas and they can hardly be formulated in a non poetic way This is why it so hard to reproduce these ideas What I am going to do instead is to just give you some of the many passages that I loved the most and that hopefully can be understood at least partially without the context of the whole book Religion is constantly getting in its own way by its built in tendency to shrink down the unconditional gift which is the religion in religion into an economic exchange When these works of mercy have that religion up their sleeve by which I mean the economy of salvation that is not the gift But in the proto religion whose cause I am advancing the works of mercy are the kingdom of God; the kingdom of God is not a reward for doing works of mercy The name of God is the name of a call that calls for a response of an insistence that strains to exist of a truth that we are asked to make come true in these works The insistence of God comes to exist in these works and as these works The name of God is a fragile flower a rose easily crushed under the heavy boots of confessional doctrines by marketing deals sold from the pulpit and by missionary expeditions profiteering on the misery of the poor and other versions of celestial economies still to come God is neither the Highest Being nor being's ground but the unconditional call that solicits being a disturbance rumbling within being not a rock but a crack or a crevice; not a juncture but a disjoining a rupture; not a plenum but a gap; not the gap God fills but the gap God opens The name of God is the name of a deep restlessness that inserts itself in being that makes being restless with becoming and with longing for the future The only 'might' of God of which we might speak is the might of might be God's only being is may being which is what it means to say that God does not exist that God calls that God does not exist God insistsThere are so many other beautiful things going on in this book that may change how you view life and how you live your life Maybe you hear the unheard call that invites you to read this book Will you respond? So many mixed emotions with this work For one it is a spiritual autobiography of Caputo I enjoyed the deeply personal side of the book because it opened a window into the heart of a seriously thoughtful philosopher of religion So much of what he said regarding the why of religion and God talk was spot on At the same time I don't know if I follow him metaphysically While he claims that his God is not a Feuerbachian project of the mind but instead a projectile his claims that God cannot even insist without us left me wanting The extent to which the kingdom of God is the activity or participation of the hopeful in the world was great but in his usage it only made Him sound like Feuerbach His proposals are honest and far from classically theistic I also gathered a sense of animosity towards traditional religion Some of that is warranted Maybe I am not perceptive enough to grapple with the metaphysical and ethical implications of the grim nihilistic theology he's constructing I enjoyed the book but don't know if I follow Caputo everywhere he goes this was so beautifully written that i'm sure that i've missed many nuances; but it's wounded me and i will be returning soon jack I liked this book so much I read it twice I dedicate it to anyone who enjoys philosophicaltheological hybrids deconstruction or uasi religious memoirs Many thumbs up This might be the most attuned I've ever felt with a work of theology Caputo lays out a theological position intended to rescue religion from itself His aim is to sketch a god that is wholly exempt from the economies of grace that are most religions' stock and trade that good works can be traded for heavenly rewards or that god should be considered as an omnipotent being and creator Rather he recognizes that god cannot be a being at all even the highest type of being In fact Caputo doesn't even want to say of god that he exists Simply that there is some incredible grace in the sheer givenness of existing things and that we feel a call of something plenary to values of exchange and conditional cause and effect And that Unconditional is the god that calls even if he doesn't exist Caputo's radical vision of divinity is a god who does not exist but insists Caputo argues against both atheists believers in something like everyone else and long robes professional religionists who have figured out how to make a buck on the Incarnation He also aims to avoid the pitfalls of Neoplatonism's dualism He wants instead a nihilism of grace that celebrates the mysticism of the rose in the sense that it is simply there existing for itself in sheer gratuity of being not for any other purpose or at least that beyond all those other purposes and causalities attached to the flower there is also some remainder left that is the pure wonder of being As you might expect Caputo reveres the mystics like Meister Eckhart and Marguerite Porete and he is also among them He is touched by the holy fire of poetry to sing the song of the Unconditional and to attempt to describe the beatific vision that indescribable lightning that illuminates all existence from within He sees that worship that no living being can avoid making and he uses tropes and categories drawn from unlikely theological sources like Lyotard Derrida Levinas and Heidegger to tease it out At bottom Caputo's entire project rests on a kind of superfluity of optimism He acts as though his imaginary interlocutor's chief objection is to the nihilism of his position as meaninglessness but the real uestion is why and whence the sense of optimism in nihilism It can only be so because Caputo considers existence to be a good even if a gratuitous one and where can that assumption arise other than the old god of three perfections powerful wise and good who is also the god of Plato and the mystics but also professors too? So in the end it does rest on or turn into a proof for the existence of god He is trying to trace a path that doesn't rely on transcendent divinity or panentheism by describing god emptying himself into the world without being coextensive with it Caputo's propensity for optimism like my own has a givenness to it that does not ask for a proof But a troubling uestion remains the possessor of that optimism receives a grace because it cannot be given to another or communicated unless the recipient already has it How could you ever convince someone of the goodness of the world if they do not simply feel it in their bones? I don't think you can But it exists as a grace in the sense of something freely given to those who have itSo while I found myself ecstatically nodding along to almost everything here I also feel Caputo has not strayed as far from the old god of the philosophers as he thinks In the end Caputo is trying to describe an ecstatic vision consonant with the apophatic mysticsand he's uite a preacher This is a postmodern confession and a creed that could unite atheists and theists alike so long as they are people of hope Hope that somehow smiles even in the face of total cosmic annihilation that sees the smile on the surface of matter without it mattering if eternity exists outside of time or if there's any salvation beyond the little moments we grasp in the mundane It's a creed I can almost fully profess because I too was born into the grace of optimism I can look total death in the eye and laugh and that's what this book calls us to do I was a bit disappointed in this book For a start I found the writing style of John Caputo to be mildly irritating He tries just a little too hard to be popular or accessible and the splitting of himself into multiple personalities roughly corresponding to stages in the development of his thought during his lifetime just didn't work for me He also repeatedly announces he is going to state something terribly radical only to come out with something which doesn't go that far beyond Tillich who he is fond of uoting The book is also very strongly framed in relation to the Catholic Church which is not so interesting for me but I can hardly blame the author for that That much is mostly stylistic However what I had a serious problem with is that he is very inward looking completely ignoring issues that concern many such as environmental destruction Creation is mentioned as being obviously a gift of God and it is exactly that attitude which has given moral 'permission' to people to mess the world up His starting point is nihilism based on the thought that at a given moment the sun will burn up and the earth will be no Interestingly it doesn't seem to occur to him that those sort of cosmic timescales are long enough that a serious amount of evolution will have taken place by then so people as we know them won't be around anyway He makes a point that 'thought' will be no at that point which aside from not realizing the evolutionary aspect also appears to ignore the extreme anthropomorphism of that statement All that criticism gives an unduly negative impression though There was also plenty of good thoughtful stuff to read He does indeed take the demythologizing of Tillich a step further especially in relation to the afterlife and eternity I enjoyed his chapter in inter faith dialogue which though I didn't find it as radical as perhaps he imagines nicely emphasises the value of diversity which in these popularist days is always a good thing There is not one true blue form of life but a rainbow; and while it is true it is not The Truth is a nice uote I will read this again to grasp of the theological and philosophical ideas Caputo is writing about I suspect this book will mean different things to me a different points in my life This time it’s helped me process some grief and absence of people no longer here with us Where are they then if not in eternal bliss in heaven as I was taught my whole life? I don’t care any; rather their smile upon my gift of this life is what I will cherish “Smile at meas I will have smiled at you until the end Always prefer life and never stop affirming survival I love you and I am smiling at you from wherever I am” Jackie Derrida “Life’s a beautiful risk” John Caputo Caputo's memoir and poeticpun filled style makes this overview of his reformation religion of nihilistic grace accessible that his earlier philosophical books His calling God of insistence vs existence leans toward Process Theology without explicitly saying so This is beautiful stuff but impossible for Caputo to put into words though he tries The tension in this little tome is almost as unbearable as it is beautiful Like the cheers of a great cloud of witnesses Caputo encourages but does not nearly describe the way

Hoping Against Hope Kindle ↠ Hoping Against  ePUB
  • Paperback
  • 226 pages
  • Hoping Against Hope
  • John D. Caputo
  • English
  • 08 February 2015
  • 9781451499155